Energy & Environment

Biden to announce steps on wildfires, extreme heat this week

President Joe Biden gives a speech about climate change and clean energy at Brayton Power Station in Somerset, Mass., Wednesday, July 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

The Biden administration this week will announce actions aimed at reducing wildfire risk and protecting people from extreme heat, according to a White House official.

The official said the actions Biden will announce include new resources for communities that deal with extreme heat and new initiatives that expand access to “more affordable sources of clean energy” in an email to The Hill. 

The administration will also announce investments through the bipartisan infrastructure law to help “eliminate the backlog of reforestation needs” and help communities plan for and mitigate wildfire risk. 

The Agriculture Department on Monday said that it would try to plant more than one billion trees over the next 10 years and also try to eliminate the reforestation backlog. The White House official said the administration will announce additional steps related to wildfires this week. 

The upcoming actions were previously reported by E&E News.

The steps come after the spotlight shifted to the Biden administration on climate action after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) backed away from climate talks in the Senate. 

Biden last week announced steps related to expanding offshore wind energy and heat funding, adding his administration would announce additional executive actions aimed at climate change “in the coming days.”

But many climate advocates described last week’s steps as insufficient and are likely to view the latest steps in a similar light. 

Several progressives have called on Biden to declare a climate change emergency. Last week, Biden said that the issue was an “emergency” but stopped short of a formal declaration that would unlock additional climate powers.

The official did not respond to The Hill’s question about whether a decision had been made on whether to declare a climate emergency.

The news also comes as communities in the U.S. and around the world deal with extreme heat and raging wildfires.

Tags Biden climate emergency extreme heat Heat wave Joe Biden Joe Manchin wildfires

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